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AusPlay Reveals Australia’s Physical Activity Levels

The Sport Australia annual AusPlay survey has shown an improvement in physical activity levels for Australians, as well as Australia’s top 20 sports and physical activities.

The report indicates that Australia has shown an improvement in physical activity levels since 2016 of 3.1 per cent, something Sport Australia CEO, Kate Palmer, said is encouraging, but more work needs to be done to combat Australia’s inactivity crisis.

“The positive news in this data is that it shows Australians are making the effort to get moving because they are becoming more aware of the importance of sport and physical activity to their health and wellbeing,” Palmer said.

“It’s a small step in the right direction, but we’re still falling a long way behind when it comes to meeting recommended physical activity guidelines.

“For example, research tells us only 19 per cent of children meet the recommended one hour of physical activity a day.

“Our general lifestyles are becoming more sedentary than ever before because of things such as technological advances, so that makes it critically important to find dedicated time for sport and physical activity in our lives.

“We need to move more, and our lives depend on it.

“It is estimated physical inactivity now contributes to the deaths of 16,000 Australians every year.

“That’s shocking, it’s almost 14 times the national road toll.

“Sport Australia realises the importance of shifting the dial on this now because we are committed to making a generational change,” she said.

The initial AusPlay survey in 2016 showed 59.9 per cent of Australians interviewed participated in sport or physical activity at least three times per week, which has now grown to 63.0 per cent in 2018.

Palmer said AusPlay provides invaluable data to help inform governments at all levels, sporting organisations and physical activity providers; she said it can also serve as inspiration for all Australians.

“Australians are lucky to have so many opportunities to get active,” Palmer said.

“Our AusPlay survey records 385 types of sports and physical activities undertaken by Australians, and you may just need to find a connection with one of those to change your life for the better.

“Sport Australia launched #FindYour30 to motivate every Australian adult to find 30 minutes of physical activity a day and I encourage everyone to go to Sport Australia’s website if you’re looking for tips to get more active,” she said.

Top 20 participation sports and physical activities

*Based on annual participation (organised out-of-school activities only for children 0-14; all activities for adults 15+)

  1. Walking (Recreational) 8,783,064
  2. Fitness/Gym 6,874,541
  3. Swimming 4,505,531
  4. Running/Athletics 3,334,693
  5. Cycling 2,359,660
  6. Football 1,767,288
  7. Tennis 1,202,011
  8. Bush walking 1,189,493
  9. Basketball 1,017,968
  10. Golf 1,015,150
  11. Yoga 984,362
  12. Australian Football 913,668
  13. Netball 901,903
  14. Cricket 798,618
  15. Dancing (recreational) 688,293
  16. Pilates 585,706
  17. Surfing 508,015
  18. Gymnastics 489,058
  19. Touch football 464,721
  20. Martial arts 316,826